Being a landlord is never easy and there is often a lot more work involved than people realise. If you are a landlord or are thinking about becoming one, you need to make sure that you know your rights as a landlord. Whilst the emphasis is usually on tenant rights, landlord rights are just as important for making sure the relationship between tenant and landlord is a good one. If you don’t exercise your rights as a landlord you could find yourself being taken advantage of by tenants, and possibly not fulfilling your role as landlord. Your rights are just as important as those of the tenant, and it is important to use those rights to make the tenancy a successful one.
Landlord access is one of the most important rights you have as a landlord. You or the agent representing you have the legal right to enter your property at reasonable times of the day to carry out repairs or to inspect the property. You need to give 24 hours’ notice in writing in order to inspect the property, and it is also useful to make sure you have arrangements about access for getting repairs done set out in the tenancy agreement. Although tenants have the right to be left in peace, it is your right and duty as a landlord to keep the property in good condition and make any necessary repairs. It is also in your interests to inspect the property every few months to make sure everything is still in good condition. Although tenants might not always find this convenient, if you give them the correct notice there should be no complaints. If the tenant will not give you access then you should seek legal advice immediately.
Possession of Your Property
You cannot gain possession of your property from a tenant during a fixed tenancy term without sufficient grounds. However, after any fixed term has ended you can repossess the property without grounds as long as you give 2 months’ notice. Also, immediate possession is possible if the tenant has broken any of the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as a failure to pay rent or damage to the property. It is your right as landlord to make sure that you get the property back at the right time and that the tenant doesn’t stay longer than they are legally entitled to. If you feel that there are grounds to evict your tenant, then you should seek immediate legal advice or contact a landlord association who will be able to go through the tenant eviction process with you in detail.
From 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords for assured shorthold tenancies in England and Wales (this covers the vast majority of tenancies), must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Since this date, tenants should now ask their landlord about the details of the scheme when signing a new tenancy agreement …
Whilst your tenant’s rights need to be respected, in order for a tenancy to run smoothly you need to know your rights as a landlord as well. Exercising your rights is part of being a good landlord, and the more you use your rights to benefit both yourself and the tenant then the easier the tenancy will be and the less problems you will have.